There’s nothing wrong with a little self-confidence. Self-confidence is what gets most of us out of bed in the mornings to do whatever we have to do to pay our bills and take care of our families and nurture our gargantuan caches of obscure Danish house music. But sometimes, self-confidence goes too far. Examples: routinely laughing at one’s own jokes, wearing clothing that’s inappropriately form-fitting, “Liking” one’s own Facebook posts.
Let’s talk about that last one. “Liking” your own Facebook posts is something that should happen only occasionally, by accident, in a fugue of Facebook hyperactivity. A friend of my wife’s went on a spree, of sorts, where she posted dozens of old photos on her Wall—and “liked” each photo in succession.
What does it mean to consciously do this? On the one hand, this is analogous to high-fiving yourself—which is more depressing, somehow, than drinking alone—but this behavior could also be understood to represent a preemptive strike against the innate loneliness of Facebook, where you’ve come up with something you feel is profound, provocative, or relevant and for whatever reason, nobody bites, and hours and days pass and it’s almost as if you solved Rene Descartes’ “mind-body problem” by yourself in the depths of an abandoned, bombed-out sanitarium, but because there wasn’t anybody around to hear you, this triumph never actually happened. It’s a weird thing to navigate, that stranded-in-a-timber-forest feeling, because most of us join Facebook to feel included in something, and then we wind up feeling excluded.
And sure, nobody wants to remember what it felt like to sit alone in the cafeteria or being picked last for kickball. But clicking “Like” on your own shit just makes you seem overly petulant or desperate, like you’re not mature enough to hang with the fact that life isn’t fair.
So suck it up and do what everybody else does: comment- and “Like”-bomb other peoples’ Walls until friends and acquaintances feel obligated to automatically acknowledge every last thing you post. When in Rome, of course—and make no mistake, we are definitely in Rome.